International Students Testimonies

Exciting and diverse everyday working life in the WELT newsroom

Merle Giesel has accomplished what many people dream of: right after graduating, she was able to start working as a news editor at the TV station WELT, where she is responsible for editing news reports for the current live broadcast, among other tasks. In this interview, she tells us more about her path to her dream job and how her Bachelor studies at HMKW have shaped her future in TV journalism.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when you think about HMKW?

When I think of HMKW, oddly enough, the first thing that comes to mind is the election of Donald Trump as president. We had class the morning after and had a long discussion about this election and the next four years. Anyway, there were a lot of discussions in the individual courses, which I always enjoyed.

You acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Corporate Communications at HMKW Berlin. What is your current job position?

After my bachelor's degree, I completed another master's degree and was hired as a news editor at the news channel WELT before I graduated. I now work here as a news editor. That means: I copywrite, edit and dub the news reports for the current live broadcast and for the news on Sat1, KabelEins and ProSieben.

Did you get any further work experiences prior to your current position that you would like to share with us?

After my bachelor's degree, I was able to work as a freelance editor for various broadcasters. During this time, I was mainly working for RTL/ntv. I did my mandatory internship here during my bachelor's studies and was then allowed to stay on as a student assistant and then as an editor and reporter. Through HMKW, I also got a some other jobs, either through recommendations or job postings. For example, I worked as a fixer for international documentaries or as a presenter at CEBIT for the BMBF. That was very helpful for my career start.

When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

Before my bachelor's degree, I already worked as a reporter and presenter for a radio station. However, through the bachelor's degree I realized that I am totally fascinated by the medium of television and then focused on this area in my internships.

Did the internship play a role in your career choice?

Yes, a major role. I did my internship at Anne Will and RTL/ntv and that was the decisive moment for me to realize: I want to work as a TV editor.

Why did you decide to study “Journalism and Corporate Communications”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

I wanted the bachelor's degree to give me a cross-media foundation so I could find out what I was most interested in. In the bachelor's degree, we wrote articles for online and print, created radio and TV reports, designed entire programs and implemented various projects. So there was a lot of practical relevance. The excursions to different editorial offices were also very helpful to get an insight into everyday media life.

 

Which contents of your studies are part of your current job? How do your studies help you in your work routine?

I was already allowed to take part in an excursion to the Welt editorial office during my bachelor's degree. So I knew a bit about what to expect. The editing basics were also very helpful. I took the Premiere editing course at HMKW. Being able to shoot and edit yourself is essential for TV journalists today. But the moderation training was also really good, because you can't start training your voice and speaking early enough.

What are your plans for the future?

First of all, I want to get some work experience. In a newsroom, that's the best place to be. Here I have to work under time pressure and am responsible for the pieces myself. But I would also like to work as a reporter later on: Being on location, talking to people, showing what moves and concerns them, questioning things - that would be a lot of fun for me.

What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?

Every day is just different. Sure, there are topics that stay with you for several days or even weeks - but ultimately, no two days are the same. That's very important for me, because I need variety. And I also need challenges - and finishing pieces under time pressure, which are then broadcast on live television a short time later, that's really exciting and a lot of fun!

Could you tell us more about the application phase after your graduation?

Applications are always exciting. I also got a few rejections for jobs I would have liked. You shouldn't let that get you down. That wasn't always easy for me either. In the end, things happened very quickly: A spontaneous application was quickly followed by an acceptance.

What would you tell fellow students that study at HMKW?

It is quite normal to compare yourself with others. But that shouldn't make you feel bad. I've often questioned myself when I've seen what others have achieved or what jobs they have got. At some point, I tried to develop more of an inspiration and motivation from that. But that wasn't easy for me either in the beginning. Everybody finds his/her way at some point. That sounds really old-fashioned - but I think it's true.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „B.A. Journalism and Corporate Communications“?

A good dose of self-confidence, fun at work and curiosity. You should always take advantage of all opportunities, even if you're initially afraid or have to bite the bullet. You also often experience criticism in this profession, whether from the outside or from within, for example from your own editorial team. You need a thick skin and good self-confidence for that, because in the end you can always learn from criticism.

Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best for the future!